First ever female Chartered Master Mariner announced

June 28, 2018

The Honourable Company of Master Mariners has announced that it has awarded Chartered Master Mariner status, the highest accolade in the industry to a woman for the very first time.

Susie Thomson, Risk Learning and Assurance Advisor at BP was presented with her award at a formal presentation at the Honourable Company of Master Mariners, on HQS Wellington on Monday 25 June, which is officially the Day of the Seafarer, during Seafarers Awareness Week.

The Chartered Master Mariner status represents a hallmark of excellence, helping to highlight the value and importance of all of those working across the maritime industry. Susie is only the 20th maritime professional to be awarded this prestigious, senior recognition and the very first woman to be given Chartered Master Mariner status.

The award was presented by Lord Jeffrey Mountevans (Alderman), former Lord Mayor of the City of London.  He noted that while the ships themselves are important, it is the people who man them, that keep global business moving, describing sea command as a Master as the pinnacle of any Merchant Navy officer’s sea-going career.

Susie Thomson (37) went to sea at 16, joining the RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) as a deck officer cadet. She spent 12 years at sea, working her way up through the ranks on a range of military support vessels, tankers and ferries, gaining her Masters ticket at 27 years old.

She is now a Risk Assurance and Learning Advisor with BP, working as part of a team to mitigate the safety risks associated with the company’s marine activity, everything from an explosion to piracy, groundings to cyber security events.

All the candidates applying for Chartered Master Mariner status are assessed through a rigorous and exhaustive process.  All professionally qualified at the outset, the shortlisted applicants must clearly demonstrate what value they have been adding to the industry, how they will continue to do so over time and how they will share their expertise and professional values with all those who follow them.  Not all those applying are successful.